CIPHR – SeDAP Overview

What is SeDAP?

The Cancer Information & Population Health Resource (CIPHR) under the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center operates the Secure Data Analysis Platform (SeDAP) built and maintained by UNC Information Technology Services for Research Computing (ITS Research). The SeDAP enables collaboration and provides secure research computing on big data through a virtual desktop environment (VDI).

UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center LogoUNC ITs Research Logo

Technical Description

All systems of SeDAP are housed in a state-of-the-art computing facility equipped with backup emergency power and climate control systems. All systems are monitored by administrators 24-7 through the connected control room. The computing platform consists of four dedicated Cisco UCS blade servers with 16 cores and 256GB ram each. The NetApp storage controller housing 40TB of SAS and 40TB of SATA disks is attached using two fabric interconnects. The backup is facilitated through the ITs central backup services. The deployment parameters of the provisioned resources through the VDI include CPUs/cores for parallel computing, dedicated memory and IO cache, isolated storage, and appropriate operating systems and tools. The secure computing environment is governed by a global security management plan compliant with FISMA, HIPAA and NC State Privacy Law to control for confidentiality, integrity and availability of the data. All users connect through two factor authentication and undergo security training adequate to their workforce clearance level. Software tools such as SAS, STATA, R, ArcGIS are made available on virtualized Windows7 64bit operating systems.

Connection Process and Supported Platforms

Users are authenticated through a security server located behind a firewall. The connection server manages the provisioned operating systems and presents the user with assigned computers. After selecting an assigned computer, the user is connected to a new virtual computer or a previously started session.